Friday, August 05, 2011

The Moroccan Economy Sends Mixed Messages

While phosphates and viticulture show positive growth and returns, the tourism sector is still dormant and the real estate market is still languishing.

Phosphates exports spike

In the good news for Morocco, the country's exports of phosphates and spiked 44% in the year up to June, reaching 22.8 billion dirhams compared to 15.8 billion dirhams last year, said Morocco's exchange rate monitoring body, Office des changes.

Foreign sales of phosphates rose 47.3% hitting 5.72 billion dirhams up to the end of June, against 3.88 billion dirhams the same period last year.

Exports of natural and chemical fertilizers hiked 85% to stand at 9.4 billion dirhams, compared to 5.1billion dirhams last year, with a 32.4% rise in volume.

The Office des changes noted that the fertilizers' average export price reached 4,724 dirhams per tonne, against 3,381 dirhams in June 2010.

Following the same rising trend, Phosphoric acid posted a 12.2% increase yielding 7.6 billion dirhams compared to 6.8 billion dirhams last year, despite a decline of 15% in volume.

Viniculture generates almost 200 million dirhams

Viniculture in Morocco spans over an area of 49,000 hectares of vineyards yielding an annual production of 230,000 tonnes of grapes, including 172,000 tonnes of table grapes, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Aziz Akhennouch said.

The Minister, who was speaking recently during the annual festival of grapes in the commune of Charrat (south of Rabat), said that 71% of the area dedicated to the production of table grapes is in the regions of Doukala, Al Haouz, Benslimane, Rabat-Salé, Khemisset and Essaouira, while the wine grape vineyards are to be found in the regions of El Hajeb, Khemisset, Meknes, Gharb and Melouis.

Akhannouch highlighted the importance of the viticulture in the green Morocco plan to boost agricultural production, noting that vineyards generate no less than 196 million dirhams annually

Morocco's property bubble bursts

  Morocco's property bubble has burst. Starting in 2003, during the period of four years, prices have almost doubled or tripled depending on the city. in the region of Marrakesh, rates are down about 20 percent. Offers  now exceeds demand.

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